I was hitting the Graduate College website tonight in an effort to make sure they hadn’t radically changed anything on me and discovered the following:

When including previously published journal articles or meeting presentations, the student must meet the following conditions:

  1. The student is the first listed author in the coauthored journal article or meeting presentation;
  2. The
    article must constitute its own chapter within the dissertation or
    thesis; although, it may retain its original abstract and references;
  3. An overall Introductory chapter must explain how each chapter approaches and examines the central thesis or dataset;
  4. The last chapter of the document must summarize the findings of all chapters and appendices.

Now there is an interesting idea; using a series of papers that have some conceptual similarity (including conference papers) for a dissertation, with a free-standing introduction and conclusion.

Part of me finds that HIGHLY attractive; for one thing, this is work I’m doing already (2 accepted, one in review).  For another it strikes me as good training for a true academic career; you rarely write in the stylized format of a dissertation again.

What I’m NOT sure about is how potential hiring committees would think about such an approach.  Would its non-traditional nature turn them off?  Or would they see what it means in terms of academic productivity potential and see it as a bonus?